Wednesday, February 3, 2010

yet another sale sign...

I've noticed a very disturbing trend lately in and around the area in which I live. If it's happening here, I'm sure that it's happening other places as well.

There are buildings closing with large 'For Sale' signs posted. Some of these pieces of real estate don't even wait long enough to sell; they just tear them down and leave a pile of ruble where a structure once stood.

I understand progress.

But it's the idea that another pile of bricks would be Oh! So much better than renovating the existing one, bothers me. It just seems so wasteful. So disposable. So inherently wrong.

Nearby was a plaza that held a Target store, a grocery store, a toy store, a bank, a restaurant and some various other miscellaneous small shops. It was a prosperous, busy little center. Less than a block away was a shopping mall. Westgate when they built it in 1954 was once an outdoor mall touted as the first suburban shopping center in Ohio. It was a big deal. They enclosed it in the late 60's to make it more shopper friendly and compete with two new neighboring 'roofed' malls. Here in the north, snow and rain can make strolling outside shopping malls slightly unpleasant.

Recently Westgate Mall was torn down to put in a 'super plaza'; several strip malls connected by parking spaces and brick walkways. Whoopee. It's sister shopping center further west boasts condominiums above the shops. Both of these have gone back to the outdoor shopping experience of the 50's, although Crocker Park has heated sidewalks to melt the snow in inclement weather.

They tore down the old mall. Built a new mall-ish shopping area and the stores from the old plaza moved to the new plaza and left the old shopping area vacant. Empty. Two of the buildings were torn down, the others remain intact but abandoned. Weeds are growing in the parking lot which is now also vacant except for a few cars with sale signs propped in their windows. Yippee. Now that's what I call progress.

My friend Chrissy and I periodically get together over at Crocker Park. We walk along enjoying the company, perusing the windows, buying a few things and then stop at one of the eateries for refreshment. Our last rendez-vous was right before Christmas. What we pictured was strolling through the shopping area with the seasonal carolers, heated sidewalks and bountiful storefronts complete with soft falling snow. What we got was us quickly ducking into stores with the blustering wind and sleet blowing us into each and every one. In years past we've been blissfully seated in the very front near the windows. But last year the hostess marched to the back of the restaurant. She placed us so far back, tears were streaming from our faces from laughter as we neared the furthest table from the door.

"Where the hell is she taking us? Out the back door?", Chrissy asked.

"Darlin', I think our 'hot chick diva' days must be over. They're hiding us in the back.", I choked while catching my breath.

"Yeah. I suppose this God-damned weather didn't help at all.", she replied. "Can we go to an indoor mall next time?"

Now Chrissy is gorgeous. Rain soaked or not. Me? That brisk walk around Crocker Park left my hair, once bouncy and full, plastered to my head. A little rain might make your skin look moist and youthful, but this weather wasn't achieving that result for me. I'm sure that whomever thought outdoor shopping would be fun wasn't thinking about northern Ohio's temperate climate. I don't understand why the 4 newest shopping areas have embraced this outdoor plan. If you live in Arizona, California or Georgia where the weather is mild most of the time, it's a grand idea. Up here where it's either raining, or snowing at least 6 months of the year? Maybe not so much.

But yesterday I noticed in my little community on the North Coast, there is yet another building on the sale block. A Lutheran church, to be exact. What troubles me is less than a mile down the road an Apolistic church was up for sale. The latter of which has since been torn down. These are just two of many in my community that are closed or are closing.

The parish of Saint James that we belong to (pictured above) has been slated to close with dozens of other churches operating under the Cleveland Diocese. Appeals have been made to Rome to allow our church to remain open. The City of Lakewood is in the process of trying to designate it as a Landmark and over $700,000 in pledges have been collected to help restore and protect the church from demolition.

Bishop Richard Lennon has chosen 50 churches to be closed in the Cleveland area. He has failed to speak publicly on this issue, but has suggested that it is necessary "in the face of a shortage of priests, dwindling collection-basket cash and a change in Catholic demographics."

What will they do with all these closed structures? A rich and wonderful history follows each and every brick or stone placed. The architecture and workmanship can never be re-placed. Yet, there are no plans for these buildings. What were once cornerstones within little neighborhood enclaves are now on the block for sale with their future uncertain.

The Lutheran church with the huge 'FOR SALE' sign once had a thriving school associated with it as well. Now it stands completely empty. The gorgeous Apolistic church that was located across the street from St. James is now...nothing. A fenced in lot with remnants of bricks and mortar that once housed a place of worship. A heavy metal distribution company is trying to buy yet another church for sale, but with the name Hell's Headbangers, all other business's in the area are trying to block it's purchase. They would prefer to have it razed instead.

Is this the wave of the future? This disposable mind-set bothers me. It always has. But in light of the recent changes of real estate of my community, it bothers me even more. Did we really need a Dunkin' Donuts where a church once stood? Another CVS? Another Starbucks or gas station? Did Drug Mart really need to build directly across the street from it's previous location? Sherwin-Williams built a new facility across the street. Tearing down their old building to build a Walgreens. When Walgreens old building is now vacant?

Does any of that make sense?
It's not like these new buildings are that much improved over the old ones in my view. It's just another brick 'box' to house 'stuff'.

The Montessori school my daughter used to attend was in the old Elementary building for Bay Village. The City didn't renew Montessori's lease, so our school moved. They bought what was a closed church and renovated it to their needs. (I thought that was cool.) The old elementary school it once inhabited is gone. It's just a big vacant plot of land where this majestic old brick school stood. A grassy lot with a flagstone walkway that once led to the big double entrance doors. Nothing has been built there. It's not even a park. It's empty. That was 8 years ago.

Explain that to me.
Why can't we use or reuse the buildings that exist? Is it just me?

I have visited many European countries over the years. My cousin was married in a chapel in northern England that was built in 832. I have family members in Hungary that live in a house that's been in the family for centuries. I've taken photographs of the Basilica of St. George and Charles Bridge in Prague. These are all phenomenal structures.

I wish that Americans would embrace some of our architectural history. Granted, at this rate of demolition, we will never have a chapel standing for someone to get married in that is 1200 years old. If it gets to be 100, that's an amazing feat.

Because I'm sure in that 100 years, someone, several times over, has wanted to tear it down.
And build a strip mall.
Or parking lot.


I'm not so sure.

Post Script: To learn more about the plight of Cleveland's Churchs, specifically Saint James Cathedral, you can go here.


  1. Oh, Nancy, "Progress" has gotten to be so sad. Same thing happening here in VA. They just rip down the building and throw another one up. Tons of new strip mall...but no new indoor malls. Oh, please, Ihope they save your is BEAUTIFUL.

  2. Yes, I heard about that on 90.3 the other day. I can understand the Diocese's position, that they're excess structures. The Church consists of its congregation - it supersedes any physical buildings. So the logic goes. Yes, it's history, but that's the past, and the Church has to look toward the future, where they need to shore up their legal fund for the next molestation case. Sigh.

    But your church IS beautiful. I hope someone keeps it as it is.

  3. Its amazing what some people will tear down. I've never liked the numerous buildings always sprouting up, or the construction that's never finished taking up time and money. These projects only bring an extra hassle to the day. What's the point? No way would I tear down the Basilica in Italy to build a strip-mall. No dollar bill is worth that.

  4. Yes, I'm so gorgeous that women and babies cried out in fear that fateful windblown day when they saw me.

    I agree. I LOVE the old architecture. No one appreciates it anymore. I still can't believe that old church is standing on Lake Rd in the Giant Eagle parking lot. Do SOMETHING with it!

  5. I have very strong opinions on this. I totally agree with you. It makes me a little nauseous everytime I see an old building being knocked down.


  6. Much of the same has been happening here. A manufacturing plant torn down to make way for a new shopping center, including, of course, a Supersized WalMart. Which was just a regular WalMart about 1/4 mile away just a few years back. That building was torn down and a new one built to house the Sam's Club that our town was apparently lacking.

    We, thankfully, haven't had the issues with churches being torn down. Yet.

    But we certainly have enough franchise stores and restaurants. Not too many of the little mom and pop stores left anymore. But the ones that are here are usually 100 times better than the franchises will ever be.

  7. I live in AZ I would not want to go to an out door mall. Not in when it is 110! LOL!

    I do understand where you are coming from. Why not renovate instead of tearing down a perfectly good building. Happens all the time here.

  8. I agree with you about having respect for architecture and reusing more buildings. I think it comes down to a cost thing. If it is going to be cheaper to tear down and start over as opposed to renovating the existing building then that is what they are going to do.

    As for those outdoor malls - yeah, I don't get it either. We have one in Maryland and it's the closest mall so I still go there but it is so annoying. You bundle up to walk around outside and then you're boiling in the stores so you have to take it all off just to put it back on again.

  9. Sounds like your city needs to have some kind of urban building plan. I used to live in a great town in Michigan that had a lot of rules about what could be built where, what couldn't be touched, etc. If we leave the world in the hands of developers we'll end up with 10 million strip malls and a concrete forest! LOVE european architecture.

  10. There is precious little true architecture in our cities as it is -- we can't afford to lose any more! Especially to the horrible facade of the chain store.

  11. Once they start tearing down Kentucky Fried Chicken places, I'm going to revolt.

  12. You're right-- we live in a disposable society, and the infrastructure is such that we'd rather tear it down than find another use for it. Stinks, doesn't it?

    And that shopping center phenomenon is true here, too. For a while everything HAD to be an enclosed mall. Now they're building only outdoor stuff-- malls are passe'. And so the pendulum swings...

  13. You know, I could even be happy if they'd tear something down and then let the space go back to nature. At least we'd be restoring the natural order a bit. But no, we just keep it in a pile-of-rubble, eyesore stage. Very sad.

  14. We have an old building in my town which has been derelict for an age. It makes me sad every time I see it.

    Oh; you also do yourself a disservice in your unfavourable comparison to Chrissy. Enough said. :)

  15. I love the historical architecture of Europe and if we keep tearing down old to make way for the new, we won't have any "old" left.

    It breaks my heart.

  16. I feel the same way Nancy. I suppose from a monetary position, it's cheaper to tear down and rebuilt than to try to make it work, but that is "SO NOT ME".
    Yes there are some buildings that don't deserve to be preserved but not all and certainly not a church. My God!... literally!
    When I was first dating my husband, we had drinks at his friend's house. He lived in Hoboken, NJ is a amazingly beautiful townhouse that was once a church. The stained glass windows and detailed molding still intact. It can be done, but you have to think outside the box... and have the money to do it.
    American's generally only place value on the New. It's a crime really because the old is so much richer in character. We hate character... we want shiny. Ugh! I bet if a survey was ever done on the country whose people had the most plastic surgery in search of the fountain of youth, it would be the good ol' USA. It's the same thing.
    I've taken up too much of your time... you now know how I feel about this subject and then some. ;-) -Bonnie

  17. @Marvin - Ha! ...saving for the legal fees. That's good! :-)

    @Chris - I'm sure they would refurbish all the fast food joints!
    @Blissed Out- I agree with you. In a way, having that school torn down to have a nice patch of green is great. However no one can enjoy it because of the NO TRESPASSING signs. Bah. Where's the good in that?

    @ Matthew - (blushing) Thanks for the compliment! :-)

    @ Blogging Bonnie - You can NEVER take up too much of my time! I LOVE Comments! And detailed comments as well! Thank YOU! I bet your husbands friends house was fantastic. There's a house in Holiday Valley that you can rent that is an old church. It's never been available when we go, but I keep trying! Love it!

    Thanks everyone for your comments! As always, it makes my day to hear your feedback!


  18. Nancy, unfortunately I think it usually comes down to the almighty dollar. It is not that some people don't see the beauty in an old building or the wisdom in refurbishing one, but, investors and speculators see that sometimes the piece of land a building sits on is worth more monetarily than the building itself. As for the Westgate mall story, I'm certain it would have been better to refurbish the standing mall but an investor realized that if he built something new he could then charge those same tenants a heck of a lot more rent for the new space then for the old, even the refurbished old. That is why you will often see the small independently owned stores have to close up rather than move. Sad. Our society has gotten so used to just using something and then throwing it away and getting a new one, rather than fix the old one (not just buildings).

  19. Damn woman, you have 757 followers? I bow to your greatness!!!!

  20. @Julie Jeffs - I think that whole disposable society thing is true BEYOND buildings. Appilances. Toys. Cars. PEOPLE.

    I don't like it.
    I'm striving to NOT be like that. Hopefully I can start a trend and lead by example. Isn't that how all trends start?


  21. I couldn’t agree more. I’m a huge fan of the renovation project. However, if there’s one thing I can tell you from working for an architect/engineering firm, it’s that NEW BUILDS are cheaper than renovations. Protecting architectural soundness, bringing old buildings up to code can be QUITE the doing. I don’t believe that other countries have as strict building codes as we do here.

    There’s nothing more beautiful than some of the old buildings and churches, buildings with history….buildings that have been cornerstones to entire communities….but these “box stores”….can be built quick, and be in business before the first mortgages start rolling in. It’s all about the bottom dollar, how fast can we get in, and start turning a profit.

    Take for example new home builders. I would NEVER build a new home. I LOVE old homes. I think they are fantastic and have a quality that all the new homes in the world don’t have to offer….history, a story….not to mention, the fact that they are still standing is a testament to their durability. They don’t make houses now like they used to. That’s a fact….

    I HATE our throw away society, times were better when something broke, you paid a fix-it man to make it work again. Now you buy a new whatever at Walmart and toss out the broken. Think of the jobs lost just from all those people who used to fix things for us. Now we pay Mexico a tax to import the television that used to be made right here in Ottawa, Ohio…..According to my guy in the tv business….most companies have two divisions, two classes of televisions, the high end stuff and the low end stuff. The televisions you buy at Walmart are the low end made with lower quality parts and are the “throw away models” as they call them in the business, would cost more than it’s worth to fix….. I don’t know how true that is, but it’s what I’ve heard.

    We need to make better use of ALL our resources in this country, in this day and age….not just our fuels….but everything if you ask me.


  22. @Heather - Amen, sister! I'm with 100%. Living ina home that was built in 1905, I've had my fair share of renovation projects. Sometimes I crave having a floor and walls that are square, but for the most part I wouldn't trade my home for anything.
    Also, living through a divorce where the husband felt it best to move onto a new marriage, a 'new' version of wife (which he then divorced), he in sense got one of the poorly built 'box stores' or homes.

    If only we all put a little more effort in, had a little less of the dispoable mentality, I persoanlly think this country would be much better off.

    Thanks for your imput! LOVE it!


  23. I was having the same conversation the other day with Husband. There is so much of this going on in Florida, and it's laughable when one considers what "historic" building means in the states. (Anything over 20 years old?) Which leads me on a materials rant. If you want things to last and be of significance, you can't build them from that sick building syndrome and mold become excuses to tear down. Oh how sad about those beautiful churches! Let's hope SuperWalmart doesn't buy. :)

  24. This one of the rare things I think that's great about Center City, Philadelphia. And probably the best thing I enjoy about this city.

    They are adament about preserving all the beautiful historical architecture.

    To me, historical architecture is a living, breathing soul that tells a story. Therefore, it deserves to be respected a preserved.

  25. blasted economics again. Stabilizing a vacant old building can be costly. Clearly the current owners cannot afford them any longer. Who will bear the expense to renovate and bring the buildings up to current codes and efficiency standards? Bitter pill. I'd far prefer for all the lovely, historically significant buildings to remain too. But this is reality (or realty, not sure which).

  26. I know what you mean Nancy. Lots of churches everywhere are closing, and I wonder what will become of these amazing buildings. Here on the Vineyard our parish only opens one church in the winter, instead of the 3 they use in the summer, which I understand. But I wonder how long that will last.
    And the disposable mentality drives me crazy. Everything from electronics to buildings. I love old houses; they have such warmth and character. And I completely don't get why they'd want outdoor shopping where you live. That's the only good thing about malls, staying warm and dry!

  27. I couldn't agree with you more, Nance. As opposed to one of your other commenters, though, I did build a new home, but.................I made it very clear from the beginning that I wanted to build a new "old house".

    I chose to recapture the romance and love of craft that was put into the workmanship of years past. I did opt for the luxury of "stain grade" trim instead of white lacquer (yuck!) and then tried to incoroporate as many old relics as I could find. Leaded glass cabinet doors from Detroit, push button style electrical switches (from Ohio!), a 1926 buffet and dining set from Wisconsin and my favorite, 7 old authentic lighting fixtures. There is something about a piece of equipment with a manufacturing stamp of 1923 in it that reminds you that it is now serving another family nearly 90 years later. I envy you in the Midwest for all of the hold homes. We simply do not have it on the West Coast.

    Old doesn't mean something is past it's usefulness. Especially with buildings.

  28. I've had similar thoughts over the years. Some building were bad buildings in the first place and thank goodness they are getting torn down, but so many others are wonderful structures and with a bit of tlc would remain grand and full of so much history.

    Lately, our council has taken to tearing down old heritage ruins around the area. Many people, including myself, have protested to no avail. I love old ruins, aside from their photographic beauty, they tell an incredible story of the struggle and lifestyle that settlers lived in the outbacks (now outer suburbs!) of our state. Some of them have had plaques telling the story. Now they are no more.

  29. It is so sad that as a country who is so proud of recycling and reusing...this is what happens on a daily basis.

    What a crock! Old buildings are so beautiful compared to the average strip mall.

    It has become such a sad sight!

  30. Hey Nancy!

    The threatened church breaks my heart, tho not from any sense of piety. Just, Plain. Wrong.

    And I'm with you on the rest. I lived in Birmingham in the Midlands of England for years, and they tore down hundreds of years of industrial history to build new disposables. It was derilict, sure enough, but there was craftmanship and beauty in the humblest factory. Something should have been saved.

    As for your ex's woes, all I can do is smile.


  31. Gosh Nancy, you touched on so many subjects here!

    These days many buildings are built new rather than renovated because of expense. One of those expenses being energy costs. Old buildings are not energy efficient compared to today's standards. My husband's company retrofits old buildings with new climate controls. Even once the retrofit is complete, the cost of maintaining it is through the roof.

    I work at an art museum that is 80 years old. On the property we also have a historic home. Not much in this part of Florida was built before the 1920's. The home originally cost around $2 million. About 12 years ago it went through a 6 year, $15 million renovation. It's beautiful! But both buildings require so much money to maintain and are constantly needing repair.

    Many retailers will move from a strip mall to a free-standing building because of real estate ownership. In the strip mall the retailer is a tenant. Often times in a free-standing building the retailer owns the building and the land. It's an investment. In the long term, it's more economical for the retailer. Sometimes that difference can see a retailer through the lean years.

    The outdoor malls... it's the trend. Huge indoor malls were trendy 40 years ago. Now it's the outdoor shopping experience. It works in Florida but I have no idea why they would do that in Ohio. I was perplexed when I saw it in Oak Park, IL.

    As for the churches closing, unfortunately, that's the trend too. Not as many priests. Not as many members. The only thing that will save them is someone with a lot of heart and a big checkbook.

    Can you tell that I used to work in real estate but got out when the getting was good?

  32. Your church is so beautiful and I am so glad to hear people are trying to save it. Money talks in these cases. The oldest church in my town (over 120 years old) is going to be saved, too, thanks to an appeal by a sweet elderly woman in the local paper.
    Some beautiful old farmhouses have been torn down here, too only to be replaced with high-density townhomes - a good use of space, but sad for those of us who like a little history left besides gravestones.
    Loved your post. Thanks for caring and promoting something so important.

  33. It is so sad when they tear down churches! The church that I attended in CA as a child is still there but when I went inside it years ago everything in it was gone...sold. It was a Catholic Church. Then in NC they did the same thing and then tore the church down to put in a Barnes and Nobel. I just don't understand this...the rate they are going we won't have any beautiful old churches. As far as malls... they are doing the same thing here in NC as they are doing there. I just don't understand. The power co. is taking my road frontage and beautiful trees that it took us 20t years to grow..cutting them down for a power line...what I don't understand is why they can't put the power line somewhere else..we even asked them to save our trees and put it underground and we would pay for it. They said NO it would cost us 300,000. hmm..wonder what they would have said if we had said ok....they just didn't want to do it. We have so many building around here old and new that are empty. Anyway, sorry for writing so much...I totally agree with you!!!
    ps ...I love heads too;0

  34. I love your church, it's beautiful. I love old buildings and history and abhor our throw away society. I'm like the only woman I know that REALLY never wanted a new house. I hope you save your church and I hope I get to see the old buildings in Europe some day.

  35. So very, very sad. I don't know if they still do it, but there used to be a show on HGTV about ppl who would convert spaces into private dwellings.

    It would seem to me that with ppl scrambling to find places to live that they can afford that SOMEONE would be happy to have someone responsible living there. It's hard to believe the banks would rather see so many places empty or torn down than filled with families who desperately need a roof over their heads.

    It's such a shame.

  36. Hey maybe we'll get lucky and our future generations will be married in a 1200 year old Starbucks. You sound like me in this post but less angry and more coherent.

  37. @ KFred- I KNEW I liked you for a reason unknown to me! That is SOOOO great! Recycling the old switches and things! Your house must be fabulous! Will I be seeing it in a upcoming copy of 'This Old House'? I should!

    @ Rebecca- I hope that I will pass on my love of things old to my daughter. Then perhaps she will do the same to hers. To tear down farmhouses to put up flimsy condos just burns me. I just keep scratching my head. Bah.

    @ Gayle - It kills me when they do that to the tree lawns too! I had a 60 year old oak that they trimmed so far back that it killed it and then they wanted me to pay for it's removal.($3000, using a company THEY referred) It was healthy BEFORE they chopped it all to hell, so I stood firm. Guess who didn't have to pay for it. AND got them to plant another tree there as well.

    @Pine Lakes- Yeah, I know...that ol' economic bottom dollar. SOME buildings need to be torn down, as they probably shouldn't have been built in the first place! But some of these houses that they are razing in my area should have some sort of material value for salvage, at least.
    It jsut seems so wasteful...

    @Carlos - That would be a great scene in a futuristic movie. I love it!


  38. A lot of churches have changed hands here - but fortunately its working for the better - since here, the old church dies off since they don't seem to attract new members and we have a bunch of immigrants (mostly from Korea) moving in and buying the old churches. The nice thing is, they are an industrious people and immediately paint and clean up the places that have had maintenance deffered to far to long.

  39. Yeah, it's everywhere. America-Home of the Free and Land of the Wasteful.

    One of my corner-of-the world hot button issues. So far, ranting hasn't stopped it. How is it that so many people feel the same way yet nothing changes?

    Um, never mind. (But keep up the good fight. When a grocery store moved out down the street from me-to build another store a mile away-a church moved in and utilized the existing foundation and added on. So, there's hope, be it ever so small. Gotta start somewhere.)

  40. A wonderful post! I agree with you whole-heartedly! People forget what imagination, creativity, and dreams it takes to design these beautiful buildings, bridges, and homes. Architecture is an art that is being forgotten by new generations and all that is happening is that "new architects" are simply recycling the designs of the past, not creating anything new.

    I hope your diocese saves your church, it is beautiful!

  41. Reminds me of the old Kinks song Come Dancing, "They put up a parking lot on a piece of land. Where the supermarket used to stand. Before that they put up a bowling alley. On the site that used to be the local palais."

    Very touching post.

  42. It is sad. How many Walgreens do we need, or CVS? Are they not on just about every other block? With all our travels, we see a Walmart in just about every town. I hate to see little Mom and Pop grocery stores go under because of Walmarts coming into towns.

  43. It is soo sad. Such a shame that some people don't appreciate what we already have.

    I hope you church gets saved.

  44. Nancy, it's the same here in the Detroit archdiocese. A few of our beautiful churches have closed over the years & stand empty, crumbling. They all used to look like yours. My church just turned 100 last year & looks like St. James, as well. ALl of the ornate, paintings, carving & statues are still there. But with so few families, ours will, too, go the way of the rest sooner than later. The school closed about 8 years ago also. As much as we try to keep it up with donations, the archdiocese seems hellbent on closing them all eventually. With neighborhoods being so bad & people moving out to the suburbs, we may not have a chance either. It's a very sad time in the Catholic dioceses in the United States.

  45. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  46. Yes, it is very sad seeing all of these places close down. I can understand some of the really terrible buildings with no redeemable qualities being taken down and replaced but structures that have architectural or community significance need to be re-purposed. It is our culture these days to always want something new and shiny.

  47. I have to agree with ya on this one. It's so sad to see a beautiful old building knocked down. One that has years and years of history. I like new shiny things as much as the next guy... but why not find a use for what we already have instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on new stuff, while the old stuff sits empty and abandoned? Doesn't make sense to me.

  48. i too just noticed the lutheran church by the main library now up for sale! was shocked to say the least....

    in cleveland heights there is an old church (on euclid hts blvd) that has been refashioned into a very attractive townhouse/condo/apartment set up - I have to say when a building as architectural significance it's so much more preferable if they can reuse/recycle/renew the building than knock it down to put some ugly box in its place....

    the old church next to the madison branch has been up for sale for quite some time - is there something about libraries and churches not mixing???

  49. I love this area you're in: I was introduced to it when showing dogs in Ohio...I find that whole Erie shore area lovely. Unfortunately, what's happening there is happening a lot of places: Toronto, ON basically tore down pretty much anything built before 1950, getting rid of a lot of the Art Nouveau and Deco buildings. I actually went to Buffalo to photograph the Art Nouveau downtown buildings before they finally kill them too.
    One of your previous commenters said it: the dollar rules, and in this disposable "just build a new one" mentality of today, there's not much that can really stand unafraid of the wrecking ball.
    I love my old house, and frankly can imagine no worse fate than living in a ticky-tacky box that is shoddily built because it's only designed to last fifteen years.
    With all the churches 'going out of business', it'd be nice to see more schools or even private citizens take them over: but with all the building code changes that it'd require it's likely not feasible. Better living through red tape, eh?


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